BJT vs MOSFET? Answered
In my perpetual pursuit for designing the best, cheapest, & best performing flyback (line transformer) driver, I've decided to try out some big BJTs, which appear to have higher voltage & current ratings @ considerably lower cost. In the past, I have tried MJE3055's, which work OK, and allow the generation of thin blue arcs from a 12V supply for a few minutes until the transistor dies due to high voltage kickback or overheating.
The FDP33N25 gives good results but is somewhat unreliable at 24V. So I decided to give these alluring "PHE13009" 400V 12A rated NPN BJT's a try. However driving the transistor adequately seems to be the problem. (I didn't realize these transistors would require like 5A base current w/ only HFe of 2!) It seems like almost all the "good" driver schematics utilize large $$$ FETs or even IGBTs, but almost every CRT, plasma globe, and ballast (SMPS) I took apart seem to prefer high power BJTs probably due to this exact cost difference. I was only able to get simalar performance to my 33N25 MOSFET when I stuck an additional TIP120 in as an additional darlington stage, which worked very nicely (white hot arcs) for about 1 second, then it popped! :( Since the collectors are tied together they are all exposed to >200V transients, I am sure that's what killed it. I substituted that transistor for another PHE13009 to see what would happen and with a third driving stage (2N2222) I could get somewhat acceptable results but I know I can do better. >:)
- My actual questions:
* The GDP of this transistor is 40MHz, seems fast to me. (certainly faster than the 2MHz GDP of the 2N3055 which works well in my slayer exciter.) and MOSFETs have significant gate charge. ECE2630 glossed over transistors mentioning BJTs are faster, (small signal ones, anyway :P ) and some internet sources agree, but I am finding lots of sources saying the opposite! What's the deal? Which one "faster?"
* How to traditional BJTs compare to IBGTs? Which are faster/better? The datasheet for this transistor explicitly mentions its use for "high frequency ballast and switch mode applications" which implies that it is well suited for my needs. It also includes a several inductor test circuits, but other than that the datasheet is pretty bare-bones. I'm actually a little disappointed the HFe is so low (around 2-3) @ >10A. I may require more windings on my primary and a 48v supply. (not ideal)
* I know I will dissipate a little more heat due to the base current, and something I didn't consider was heat dissipated in the resistor biasing/controlling the base. (like 12V at several amps just to drive the damn thing!!) so it is worth the cost benefit of $0.5? Is there a configuration I could use that makes driving the transistor easier?